Black Jack

Thoughts on old molds and new boats

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I was in Ron Moore’s Watsonville chicken coup working making our 1d35 into a tight, restored racing machine. I kept remarking to my sailing partner that beside our boat were the famous Moore 24 molds. I always like the Moore 24s and have a great deal of respect for them over the years.  In my eyes, these molds in the open appeared to be ready to to pop a few more hulls out with reasonable efficiency and at low cost. Being the dreamer I had to take my imagination further. What would take to make a few modernized daysailers out of these molds for me and my friends, how much would they cost to make and would people want them?

There are many in both associations who would consider these thoughts as sacrilegious. And yet If I consider my own wants in a new boat, I believe making new trailerable and drysailed daysailer (without the use of a crane) out of old proven hull molds which have performance merits and stellar reliability, and for less than current new imports would be brilliant for US sailing communIty. Such considerations I think would be a fun study in business as well as realizing a personal passions of mine as well as a few of you. I am planning on talking to Ron about the 24 molds next weekend when I am down there again working on the boat. (In a further mold exploration if it could make a few 24s...why not makes a few custom Express 27 hulls (that might take more effort as I don’t know where the molds for the Hull and deck of the Express 27. To be class legal, the Alsberg Brothers Boatworks ones which I understand are owned by the Express Class Association.)  Maybe too big a headache for a small guy like me.)

I recognize that many people have tried making thier own production boats over the years and failed miserably. The boat building business is lousy in many ways. People generally suck, dealers eat up profits and the market itself is screwy.

Anyway, it is a nice daydream and would a cool and fun run to make 6 or more new daysailers out of some fabled molds. Ideally while keeping the pricing below 20-25k including the trailer. :ph34r:  In my belief - something like that could re-energize the small local boat building again as well as restore rational quality, building & pricing to meet the realities which we find lacking in the domestic market. 

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I've seen lots of cases where people tried to resuscitate the molds of good old boats to make a few more.

It always ended badly.

Time marches on.

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7 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I've seen lots of cases where people tried to resuscitate the molds of good old boats to make a few more.

It always ended badly.

Time marches on.

Very valid point.

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New Moore 24 on a new trailer for under $25k.......is it even possible?

Seems like the parts and raw materials might be near that cost before any labor to build. Keep us updated. 

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Mast, boom and standing rigging would cost you ten before you bought a single mixing stick.

I bet a newly built Moore24 would cost sixty,  easy.

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2 hours ago, Rushman said:

I know where the Magic 25 moulds are if anyone is interested

Donate them to the nz Sportboat fleet? 

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1 hour ago, Dead air said:

Donate them to the nz Sportboat fleet? 

If they pay the freight from Canberra it could possibly be arranged

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7 hours ago, SailMoore1 said:

New Moore 24 on a new trailer for under $25k.......is it even possible?

Seems like the parts and raw materials might be near that cost before any labor to build. Keep us updated. 

I bet parts & materials would cost a good bit more than that. Then double it for labor (very rough estimate).... Jim the Left Coast Dart guy was very smart & efficient, and he was building a 26 footer that cost around $75k out the door.

One option would be to take the molds to a boatbuilder that already has the labor on hand and who buys materials in mass quantities, get him to pop out the hulls & decks, then use skilled labor of the devoted fan club to produce the finished boat. It's the bit-by-bit labor of assembling a ready-to-sail boat that costs so damn much.

However, I bet the molds are in worse shape than they look. If they've been out in the weather, even in Southern Cali-land, they're most likely toast

FB- Doug

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8 hours ago, Black Jack said:

I was in Ron Moore’s Watsonville chicken coup working making our 1d35 into a tight, restored racing machine. I kept remarking to my sailing partner that beside our boat were the famous Moore 24 molds. I always like the Moore 24s and have a great deal of respect for them over the years.  In my eyes, these molds in the open appeared to be ready to to pop a few more hulls out with reasonable efficiency and at low cost. Being the dreamer I had to take my imagination further. What would take to make a few modernized daysailers out of these molds for me and my friends, how much would they cost to make and would people want them?

There are many in both associations who would consider these thoughts as sacrilegious. And yet If I consider my own wants in a new boat, I believe making new trailerable and drysailed daysailer (without the use of a crane) out of old proven hull molds which have performance merits and stellar reliability, and for less than current new imports would be brilliant for US sailing communIty. Such considerations I think would be a fun study in business as well as realizing a personal passions of mine as well as a few of you. I am planning on talking to Ron about the 24 molds next weekend when I am down there again working on the boat. (In a further mold exploration if it could make a few 24s...why not makes a few custom Express 27 hulls (that might take more effort as I don’t know where the molds for the Hull and deck of the Express 27. To be class legal, the Alsberg Brothers Boatworks ones which I understand are owned by the Express Class Association.)  Maybe too big a headache for a small guy like me.)

I recognize that many people have tried making thier own production boats over the years and failed miserably. The boat building business is lousy in many ways. People generally suck, dealers eat up profits and the market itself is screwy.

Anyway, it is a nice daydream and would a cool and fun run to make 6 or more new daysailers out of some fabled molds. Ideally while keeping the pricing below 20-25k including the trailer. :ph34r:  In my belief - something like that could re-energize the small local boat building again as well as restore rational quality, building & pricing to meet the realities which we find lacking in the domestic market. 

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Black jack,

 

Its nice to dream and as much as you would like to see a few new boats on the water and have a go at building them yourself. The hull mould looks like it needs a major detailing and I can see a week in washing and then sanding and buffing before you even start to think waxing the mould in order to get a shine in the mould otherwise you will end up sanding and detailing each boat for a week each before you get them to look any good. 

 

As as far as $25k for a new Boat on the water ? Tell him he is dreaming. 

 

Do your sums and add up the part before you even talk to the owner of the moulds and remember that the moulds are worth nothing and will cost you lots if you have to pay storage or to move them around. 

 

Leave this one one as a dream.

 

pulpit 

 

p.s I’m a shipwright and I own a few sets of moulds and for a old design you can’t give them away.

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 I think many of us have this same dream.  I often think of what my Capri 25 would be like if it were built today. I think the Left Coast Dart is a great example of what to expect.  There are molds laying around for all kinds of once popular designs.  But building boats is simply expensive nowadays and not that many people want sub-30 foot sailboats.  For some reason we all keep thinking we can return to the O'Day/Catalina/Cal/ULDB good 'ol days.  I just don't think we can.  Good luck though and keep us posted!

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If you build a few the costs will be huge. I am 100% sure $25K wouldn't get you a boat with FREE labor.

If you build a lot of them, you can get some labor and material efficiency going for you. OTOH at that point the mold is a very small part of the cost overall and it wouldn't be that much worse to just get a new design anyway.

The only way I can see something like this working is if you got say 50 people that really wanted this boat and had cash on hand to set up a crew to start building and even then you will be nowhere near $25K.

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A few years ago (10-15??), Tiara Yachts and the S2 7.9 class association looked at costs to do another run of maybe (15)--(20) 7.9s.  Tiara is what S2 morphed into many years ago when they got out of sailboat building and switched exclusively to power boats.  The 7.9 is a bit bigger than the Moore, but not by much at 26 feet.  If I recall the 7.9 price was around $75-80K, and that was without a suit of sails, outboard, or trailer.  The idea did not last long..........

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Boats just don't have the "continuation" value that rare airplanes and cars do. Someone was trying to build FW-190s and ME-262s from original plans at one point and they had big $$$$ buyers if they could have pulled it off, at least for the 190. 262 engines were crap. Likewise someone got big dollars for something like an AC Cobra run or similar from original tooling.

The only possible exception I can see is J-Class boats, class rules IIRC mandate original designs if you want to be able to race.

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19 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

J class is super wealthy.
Moore 24 is a Boat of the People.
Completely different markets.

But even then they had to make a special rule to prevent people from just designing new boats.

Cal 25s are a popular OD class, but I doubt you could sell new ones.

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14 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

But even then they had to make a special rule to prevent people from just designing new boats.

Cal 25s are a popular OD class, but I doubt you could sell new ones.

And a brand new Cal 20 would be a $70k 4.01 knot Shitbox.

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How often do you want to eat?

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I know over 10 years ago the Express 27 Great Lakes chairperson told me that the mold was getting shopped around to builders.  IIRC a builder in NZ estimated a new Express at the time (had to be early 2000's) would be north of 60k.  Even then people recognized that for that price point there were better modern competitive options.  That price can only be higher these days.

 

I would say for a dreamer who wants to tweak something like an Express of Moore, find one that's already been bastardized out of OD spec, or one that's severely damaged.

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If there were customers for new Moore 24s who are willing to pay the price I have to believe Ron would accomodate them, or at least I heard that he would entertain the idea a few years back. The problem is, as has been pointed out in this thread, time and materials to build a Moore 24, or something akin to one, would be insanely cost prohibitive.

Hard pictures to look at, last I saw those molds they were nice and shiney sitting where a now defunct toy store and a Marshals are standing now. Oh the memories of the reef in my formative years.

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I think you guys hit the nail on the head.  There are better (modern) options for the same money.  Having the moulds doesn't save much money at all.  I love the dream.  But the reality will be a nightmare.

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

I bet parts & materials would cost a good bit more than that. Then double it for labor (very rough estimate).... Jim the Left Coast Dart guy was very smart & efficient, and he was building a 26 footer that cost around $75k out the door.

But if you were spending your OWN money...

from the SA Classifieds - the near-new LCD 004, upgraded with an awesome Southern Spars mast* is $ 45 k - with trailer, sails, fluffy cushions, etc.

(versus the stock one that failed because: "we don't know" -  If anyone is the LEAST BIT interested in an LCD, that's the one to get, for sure)

or, for about a third of that,  - a selection of used Melges 24s - if all you wanted was a glorified day-sailor and wanted to be powered up, and have a boat that has fully sorted out components

or,  for the same investment the GP26,  which is a step up from either the LCD or a new Moore

Flights of fancy are interesting mental exercises,  but you just have to know that a lot of the appeal of the Moore  --  back in the day, was that is was one of the more extreme designs you could find,  and while it IS still a simply magical blend of sleighride performance and amazingly sea-worthiness - there are many more 'out there' designs for someone that wants to light their hair on fire.

 

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LCD 004 has been sitting in Betts' yard, in the sun and rain, since LCD closed up shop. Betts intimated it could be had for considerably less than the asking price.

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Assuming you had legal rights to the mold, how would the cost structure change if you deliver them to a small scale surviving boat builder who has materials on hand and buys in bulk, isn't producing to capacity so switching molds doesn't disrupt his production, and is eager to have a shop full of fixed costs actually producing something.   Can you ask him to bid on building x hulls?    

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54 minutes ago, Lark said:

Assuming you had legal rights to the mold, how would the cost structure change if you deliver them to a small scale surviving boat builder who has materials on hand and buys in bulk, isn't producing to capacity so switching molds doesn't disrupt his production, and is eager to have a shop full of fixed costs actually producing something.   Can you ask him to bid on building x hulls?    

So dreaming of Rhode Island?

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Question then... when building a boat - how much is labor really verses other factors?

How can the Swedish Diva 24DC or the Bente 24 offer their standard no frills ready to sail right off the factory floor for around 27,500 euros (without VAT)? The standard boat comes with a fixed keel and a lifting keel will cost 5210 euros. A full extras interior 11,260 euro more  and a carbon bowsprit 2857 euros. With all those items the boat would cost 46,827 euros without VAT. In dollars about $31,500 for the standard. Lifting keel add 6000. The works for $13000 pushing the boat to 40k and another 3000 for carbon bowsprit. Totaling nearly $53,000 without the VAT. 

Materials being the same cost here or abroad.. Does labor really drive the costs or is it better margins drives the prices that much higher?

 

BEN24_starboard_Du%CC%88sseldorf-Boat-Sh

ben24_sailing_leesails_1.webp

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You know the old saying. You can't get something for nothing.
Sailboat building is moribund here. Not in europe because of domestic market.

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26 minutes ago, Black Jack said:

Question then... when building a boat - how much is labor really verses other factors?

How can the Swedish Diva 24DC or the Bente 24 offer their standard no frills ready to sail right off the factory floor for around 27,500 euros (without VAT)? The standard boat comes with a fixed keel and a lifting keel will cost 5210 euros. A full extras interior 11,260 euro more  and a carbon bowsprit 2857 euros. With all those items the boat would cost 46,827 euros without VAT. In dollars about $31,500 for the standard. Lifting keel add 6000. The works for $13000 pushing the boat to 40k and another 3000 for carbon bowsprit. Totaling nearly $53,000 without the VAT. 

Materials being the same cost here or abroad.. Does labor really drive the costs or is it better margins drives the prices that much higher?

 

BEN24_starboard_Du%CC%88sseldorf-Boat-Sh

ben24_sailing_leesails_1.webp

Catalina can't even do it here.  The 275 Sport goes for $80-$90k?  There's a reason why all our shit is made in China.

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I love the Moore 24,  I am almost 70.  It is a boat that is like a Morgan car.  Regular boats are built by the pound.  If you want to live your dream, find out who shares it enough to set up a builders club.  In the sixties we couldn't afford kayaks so we rented molds payed a rental royalty to their creator and went for it.  Boat building  is for dreamers and it takes money to make it happen.  If you are alone in your dream, find the best current one, pay full price, and be glad for living your dream drama free.  If you can group a bunch of hippies with money,  pay  Moore, to splash some grotty hulls and and get building.  Good luck.

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1 hour ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

T10 ---------------> LS10

Pearson sold the Ensign molds to the class association. Ensign Spars built new boats using the original molds.

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6 minutes ago, jerseyguy said:

Pearson sold the Ensign molds to the class association. Ensign Spars built new boats using the original molds.

Difference being these molds have been sitting in the weather. Surface degradation is one thing to address the other is has the mold warped, twist become otherwise untrue. 

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4 minutes ago, SailBlueH2O said:

Difference being these molds have been sitting in the weather. Surface degradation is one thing to address the other is has the mold warped, twist become otherwise untrue. 

How would you tell if the Moore molds were twisted?

Just sayin'...

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How do you make a small fortune boat building? 

Simple, start with a big one. 

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3 minutes ago, Somebody Else said:

How would you tell if the Moore molds were twisted?

Just sayin'...

Set it up level as possible on a good floor with a straight edge athwartship starting at the stem measuring down to the floor every couple of feet, bracing to hold when measurements are equal, then pull a string from center of stem to the middle of the transom opening width then dropping a plumb bob to the bottom of the mold and mark, lay a fairing batten to the marks and sight down the batten when all marks at touched.... for starters 

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5 minutes ago, mad said:

How do you make a small fortune boat building? 

Simple, start with a big one. 

Beat me to it !

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Even with pot now legal in California, there probably isn't enough to build the Moore 24 there again.

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You know it's sad to see all those labor hours and material wrought in so many disparate locations around the world. It would be cool if there were a crowd sourced facility that could store all the abandoned molds and offer space and/ or labor to build hulls and decks. But, making that venture economically viable would take a huge amount of venture capital. 

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It just looked into the Bente 24 ... I like what I see ... don’t know about the build quality or how many could fit in a container but the price was interesting 

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3 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

LCD 004 has been sitting in Betts' yard, in the sun and rain, since LCD closed up shop. Betts intimated it could be had for considerably less than the asking price.

That's 005 in Bett's front yard.  O04 is in Honolulu, awaiting a new caretaker who wants to adopt a really nice, fun, fast boat.  We're asking $45,000 but will consider reasonable offers.

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Do you really need a cabin?

Buy a fareast 23r $45k with sails & trailer & that's mass produced in China

So chance of getting a Moore on the water with sails & trailer for under that price is zero!

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2 minutes ago, Hawaiidart said:

That's 005 in Bett's front yard.  O04 is in Honolulu, awaiting a new caretaker who wants to adopt a really nice, fun, fast boat.  We're asking $45,000 but will consider reasonable offers.

Damn. 45K already seems reasonable. I suppose the whole Hawaii location limits the market pretty hard. 

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1 minute ago, SCANAS said:

Do you really need a cabin?

Buy a fareast 23r $45k with sails & trailer & that's mass produced in China

So chance of getting a Moore on the water with sails & trailer for under that price is zero!

So are you saying ship the M 24 molds to China.  ;) 

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52 minutes ago, SailBlueH2O said:

Set it up level as possible on a good floor with a straight edge athwartship starting at the stem measuring down to the floor every couple of feet, bracing to hold when measurements are equal, then pull a string from center of stem to the middle of the transom opening width then dropping a plumb bob to the bottom of the mold and mark, lay a fairing batten to the marks and sight down the batten when all marks at touched.... for starters 

missing_the_point.png.19df4281f80eea33fb073c06adb52443.png

The Moore 24 molds have been asymmetric since day 1.

That's the joke.

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44 minutes ago, Monkey said:

Damn. 45K already seems reasonable. I suppose the whole Hawaii location limits the market pretty hard. 

It's got a trailer,  and people ship much bigger things all the time.

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1 hour ago, SCANAS said:

Do you really need a cabin?

Buy a fareast 23r $45k with sails & trailer & that's mass produced in China

So chance of getting a Moore on the water with sails & trailer for under that price is zero!


The trailer can be had for 5k. 

But if you consider the parts and materials Fareast uses then add trans pacific ocean transportation, there is no doubt there is some wiggle room and profit otherwise the Chinese wouldn't be doing it. Since most modern production boats are made for foam core, pre weighted resin that is vacuum infused to achieve a light weight and faultless construction - it would be the set up that might take time but not that bad. Proven hulls mold already have the structural in frame forms that make light and stiff boats with beefy enough spines that can handle keel, mast and rigging forces. The modern mold process uses a crowd pleasing gelcoat which it would give a good finish, assuring overall quality would high. Moreover using the same hardware brands as Fareast like Selden, Harken and Spinlock are used which have become sort of standard and not the advantage marketing hype would want you to believe. Using carbon fiber vacuum packing solutions for the rudder and keel isn't that special anymore and obviously would be the way to soon dandy.  So yeah, it could be done but not have the profit that most investors would like.

These domestic boats could be competitively priced without the need of a ridiculous network of middle men and dealers like many of the modern business trends. offer a 2 year trial to the esteemed editors of this website - you would have enough free ads and coverage to make it the boat of the year...

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50 minutes ago, Somebody Else said:

missing_the_point.png.19df4281f80eea33fb073c06adb52443.png

The Moore 24 molds have been asymmetric since day 1.

That's the joke.

You mean he didn’t use a laser level when he spread the mold apart with 2”x4”s?!

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The other thing you have to consider is that builders stop building a class when it stops selling. So what has changed since that class stopped selling that is going to make it start selling again?

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15 minutes ago, Black Jack said:


The trailer can be had for 5k. 

But if you consider the parts and materials Fareast uses then add trans pacific ocean transportation, there is no doubt there is some wiggle room and profit otherwise the Chinese wouldn't be doing it. Since most modern production boats are made for foam core, pre weighted resin that is vacuum infused to achieve a light weight and faultless construction it would be the set up that might take time. Proven hulls mold already have the structural in frame forms that make light and stiff boats with beefy enough spines that can handle keel, mast and rigging forces. The modern mold process uses a crowd pleasing gelcoat giving it good finish, assuring the overall quality would high. Using the same hardware brands as Fareast like Selden, Harken and Spinlock are used which have become sort of standard. Using carbon fiber vacuum packing solutions for the rudder and keel isn't that special anymore.  So yeah, it could be done but not have the profit that most investors would like.

These domestic boats could be competitively priced without the need of a ridiculous network of middle men and dealers like many of the modern business trends. offer a 2 year trial to the esteemed editors of this website - you would have enough free ads and coverage to make it the boat of the year...

I wish you the best of luck if you think you can turn out a US built boat for under that price. Left Coast dart case in point. 

Also doing deals with the ed over free advertising hasn't worked for the GP26 or the Shaw650. 

You'd need some serious cashflow to loan your boat to the ed for two years. 

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37 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

It's got a trailer,  and people ship much bigger things all the time.

I know, but it’s still a factor. That’s a damned nice boat for 45!

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Take $25k and walk around Richmond yacht club. You will have a turn key  moore 24 in no time 

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On 8/13/2018 at 1:24 AM, SloopJonB said:

I've seen lots of cases where people tried to resuscitate the molds of good old boats to make a few more.

It always ended badly.

Time marches on.

No always. The Ensign retired production in 1983 and the molds sat out until the late 90’s when my Dad, Zeke Durica and a few others bought the molds and the rights to produce the new Ensign Classic. I have one. They produced about 35 of them in 15 years under the business name Ensign Spars LLC. The name of the company was Zeke’s from his rigging days. The price is about $40,000 with everything including trailer. 

 The business was sold to some nice guys on the upper Peninsula or thereabouts.

 I have a small 20’ boat that has been out of production for decades. I’m going to pull a mold off of it and produce a quick planing boat that has all the Classic Herreshoff lines and beauty of a modern daysailor. Just have to finish the re-build of my home so it will take another year to get going. I’m hoping to have a price point of $20,000-$25,000 after doing some math and looking to make very little in profit. A basically similar size boat with a centerboard trunk is the Flying Scot which is about $15,000 out the door in Maryland. Since mine is a couple of feet longer and a modified bulb keel, I expect my price to be up ther a bit for a simple daysailor with a tiny cuddly cabin for junk(gear and beer).

I have a powerboat builder here who could provide the labor force to knock them out and I have some good pricing on Spars. 

My dream has a plan. We’ See how it works out...

 

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Someone’s dream came true. It just takes class. A solid one design class, that is...

7BF7212A-073C-4EDE-B539-2183F8718F3E.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

Someone’s dream came true. It just takes class. A solid one design class, that is...

7BF7212A-073C-4EDE-B539-2183F8718F3E.jpeg

Many many hours on Ensigns 60's & 70's Castle Harbor sailboat rentals and teaching sailing Dinner Key, Coconut Grove...and many after hours evening "dates" with the pick of the sailing classes :D

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Cai Svenson’s Sailing School by any chance? I sailed Biscayne Bay around 6 years ago out of Castle Harbor I think. Can’t quite remember...

And  that 8’ cockpit is very nice evening accommodation for a couple and a bottle of wine and...

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22 hours ago, BayRacer said:

A few years ago (10-15??), Tiara Yachts and the S2 7.9 class association looked at costs to do another run of maybe (15)--(20) 7.9s.  Tiara is what S2 morphed into many years ago when they got out of sailboat building and switched exclusively to power boats.  The 7.9 is a bit bigger than the Moore, but not by much at 26 feet.  If I recall the 7.9 price was around $75-80K, and that was without a suit of sails, outboard, or trailer.  The idea did not last long..........

FYI.  The 7.9 was $50k without sails, trailer and engine.  See attached.  This run would have happened had it not been for the recession that was occurring.

It is my understanding that Tiara/Pursuit has since destroyed the molds.

S2_Yachts_7_9_Limited_Edition_Final.pdf

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Interesting idea.  Reality? 

I've seen those molds up close.  As said up thread, don't bother.  Better to take the lines and import into Rhino or other so maybe you could modernize some features such as full cockpit, maybe open transom, some interior changes for over nighters and grid stiffening with modern foils - just ideas.  Seascape guys are another group that started from scratch.

The Moore 24' and old SC boats still have a strong following and are sought after.  Then there's that whole retro appeal.  The West Coast could use a little offshore boat again.  Mini's never caught on.  No Figs.  

What's an interesting number for a base model built overseas?  Trailerable family camper/offshore racer.  Isn't that how all these small new boats are marketed?

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In 2001 there was a re-issue of the Santana 22 (yes, you read that right). I recall $40,000 (2001 dollars!). Sold around ten. Originals go for about $0 or the value of the sails. New molds were made from an original hull.

People who construct homebuilts get the hull finished quickly and think they are 80% done. The reality is they are about 10% done and the project is never finished.

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6 minutes ago, daddle said:

People who construct homebuilts get the hull finished quickly and think they are 80% done. The reality is they are about 10% done and the project is never finished.

Exactly, with aircraft construction 90% done, 90% to go, the ongoing joke was if you want to fly, buy.  If you want to build, build. Same thing with sailboats.  

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22 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Boats just don't have the "continuation" value that rare airplanes and cars do. Someone was trying to build FW-190s and ME-262s from original plans at one point and they had big $$$$ buyers if they could have pulled it off, at least for the 190. 262 engines were crap. Likewise someone got big dollars for something like an AC Cobra run or similar from original tooling.

The only possible exception I can see is J-Class boats, class rules IIRC mandate original designs if you want to be able to race.

Well, they did get it done and built full scale Me-262 replicas. Some of them are flying, using CJ 610 engines, which are a good motors used in early Learjets. The Me-262 is one of the most perfect, beautiful planes ever built, imo. I would happily trade all of the boats I've ever had for one.

Flugwerk built some FW-190 replicas, and they're flying, but that is all I know about that.

If you've ever seen a Spitfire with clipped wings and wondered why they did such an ugly thing to a beautiful plane, it was done to improve the Spit's roll rate so that it stood a chance fighting the much more agile FW-190.

All it takes is money and motivation.

 

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1 hour ago, Sail4beer said:

No always. The Ensign retired production in 1983 and the molds sat out until the late 90’s when my Dad, Zeke Durica and a few others bought the molds and the rights to produce the new Ensign Classic. I have one. They produced about 35 of them in 15 years under the business name Ensign Spars LLC. The name of the company was Zeke’s from his rigging days. The price is about $40,000 with everything including trailer. 

 The business was sold to some nice guys on the upper Peninsula or thereabouts.

 I have a small 20’ boat that has been out of production for decades. I’m going to pull a mold off of it and produce a quick planing boat that has all the Classic Herreshoff lines and beauty of a modern daysailor. Just have to finish the re-build of my home so it will take another year to get going. I’m hoping to have a price point of $20,000-$25,000 after doing some math and looking to make very little in profit. A basically similar size boat with a centerboard trunk is the Flying Scot which is about $15,000 out the door in Maryland. Since mine is a couple of feet longer and a modified bulb keel, I expect my price to be up ther a bit for a simple daysailor with a tiny cuddly cabin for junk(gear and beer).

I have a powerboat builder here who could provide the labor force to knock them out and I have some good pricing on Spars. 

My dream has a plan. We’ See how it works out...

 

That is about 2 Ensigns a year. The profit margin on that is way under minimum wage work. I assume this was possible because the business had other ways to make money.

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40 minutes ago, Looper said:

FYI.  The 7.9 was $50k without sails, trailer and engine.  See attached.  This run would have happened had it not been for the recession that was occurring.

It is my understanding that Tiara/Pursuit has since destroyed the molds.

S2_Yachts_7_9_Limited_Edition_Final.pdf

OK, I stand corrected.  Maybe I recalled higher number figuring in sails, etc. plus assorted other gear that you would have to add that often comes with a used boat.  It was a long time ago.

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I was disappointed when Sabre stopped production of their sailboats and destroyed the molds since they were some of the nicest cruising boats at the time. It was pointed out to me that anyone willing to spend that much on a new sailboat would want all the advances in rig and other changes over the last 10 yrs. 

A Nordic 40 was made many years after the end of the production run. It was very good looking with some updates like an opening in the stern and updated components but the rig was the same with a huge masthead jib. I think Perry pointed out the changes that would have been required to move the mast forward and modernize the rig did not make sense. I think they only made one.

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57 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

That is about 2 Ensigns a year. The profit margin on that is way under minimum wage work. I assume this was possible because the business had other ways to make money.

The hulls were built by Compac Hurchins people from what I recall and Zeke put the rest of it together himself at his location in FL. The problem with the sale of new boats is that there are about 1,500 of them surviving from the first production run and are solid hulls. It’s a simple boat to restore for MUCH less than a new build. The idea came about while the economy was good and  took the hit in ‘08 or so. 

The fact that there are so many Moore’s and Pearsons out there that the market is already as full of boats in that class as are necessary to satisfy the demand. I am glad that I didn’t take the Ensign production over myself. My small daysailor is going to be a new fleet and feedback on what local folks want in a new OD fleet for these waters is positive from a design and price point. I am going to proceed with the demand that does not have a supply since I always get offers to buy one. I’m close to 10 induvidials interested and that’s my minimum for developing even one.

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I know people who were involved in the original Cal 20 (several have passed of course, including Jack Jensen long ago).

Jensen had been building at least two boats before the Cal 20: the Cal 24 (originally called the Lapworth 24 before being modified for a CB), and the Cal 30. These were more or less typical boats for the time.

Jack, Lapworth, and his production manager had an idea: it was always a pain to estimate delivery dates at boat shows, which interfered with sales (if they were pessimistic/ realistic) and new customer satisfaction (if they were optimistic). And they took so long to build that cash flow was always the limiting factor in their growth. They needed to be able to easily estimate delivery dates, labor and material needs, and do something about cash requirements!

So they specifically decided to design a boat that could be built by two people in 2.5 days, start to finish, so those two guys could build 2 boats a week, and 4 guys could build 4 boats a week, and so on. And so they could build and sell the boat before they needed to meet payroll or pay for material! 

They created the Cal 20 experimentally to ensure it could be built that quickly, and it was. Cheap, simple, quick to deliver, easy to manage the company.

Plywood for deck core and internal bits, where they nested the parts to use the wood efficiently, with one cut working for both pieces. Glass cloth laid into the molds in a way to minimize cutting and waste. Deck and hull could be mated with just those two guys, no one else. One guy holding and lowering the hull/deck onto the keel using a 16:1 block-and-tackle crane, the other first lining up the keel bolts, and then climbing inside to tighten the nuts on the keel bolts. Minimum number of bolts for deck gear (those funky chainplates!), where one was on deck, the other below, worked together in one lap around the boat, one ratchet below, one screwdriver above. That sort of stuff. Nothing required more than those two guys when building, no-one else had to be there, no coordination beyond those two guys on one boat.

They let those production sensibilities define the dimensions and everything else about the boat -- from big things to lamination schedule to the smallest detail. It worked!

The did NOT start out trying to build the fastest boat for the amount of material (Moore 24, Santa Cruz 27, etc). They did NOT pay any attention to the CCA or any other racing rules or any external norms (headroom? head? styling? Nope!). They did not try to make it faster than the competition. Just simply concentrated on absolute minimum time, cost, hassle, management, uncertainty.

All options (head, interior cushions, stove, etc) were provided by the dealer after the sale.

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On 8/13/2018 at 12:33 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Boats just don't have the "continuation" value that rare airplanes and cars do.

A handful retain value. Old Bertrams and Sea Crafts can be rebuilt and then sold for something at least close to the cost of rebuild.

Last I knew, the mold for the CSY 44 was located at Com-Pac Yachts. Nobody seems to want to put a couple of rail car's worth of resin into them like the originals had so they're probably still there, continuing to decay.

 

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30 minutes ago, carcrash said:

I know people who were involved in the original Cal 20 (several have passed of course, including Jack Jensen long ago).

Jensen had been building at least two boats before the Cal 20: the Cal 24 (originally called the Lapworth 24 before being modified for a CB), and the Cal 30. These were more or less typical boats for the time.

Jack, Lapworth, and his production manager had an idea: it was always a pain to estimate delivery dates at boat shows, which interfered with sales (if they were pessimistic/ realistic) and new customer satisfaction (if they were optimistic). And they took so long to build that cash flow was always the limiting factor in their growth. They needed to be able to easily estimate delivery dates, labor and material needs, and do something about cash requirements!

So they specifically decided to design a boat that could be built by two people in 2.5 days, start to finish, so those two guys could build 2 boats a week, and 4 guys could build 4 boats a week, and so on. And so they could build and sell the boat before they needed to meet payroll or pay for material! 

They created the Cal 20 experimentally to ensure it could be built that quickly, and it was. Cheap, simple, quick to deliver, easy to manage the company.

Plywood for deck core and internal bits, where they nested the parts to use the wood efficiently, with one cut working for both pieces. Glass cloth laid into the molds in a way to minimize cutting and waste. Deck and hull could be mated with just those two guys, no one else. One guy holding and lowering the hull/deck onto the keel using a 16:1 block-and-tackle crane, the other first lining up the keel bolts, and then climbing inside to tighten the nuts on the keel bolts. Minimum number of bolts for deck gear (those funky chainplates!), where one was on deck, the other below, worked together in one lap around the boat, one ratchet below, one screwdriver above. That sort of stuff. Nothing required more than those two guys when building, no-one else had to be there, no coordination beyond those two guys on one boat.

They let those production sensibilities define the dimensions and everything else about the boat -- from big things to lamination schedule to the smallest detail. It worked!

The did NOT start out trying to build the fastest boat for the amount of material (Moore 24, Santa Cruz 27, etc). They did NOT pay any attention to the CCA or any other racing rules or any external norms (headroom? head? styling? Nope!). They did not try to make it faster than the competition. Just simply concentrated on absolute minimum time, cost, hassle, management, uncertainty.

All options (head, interior cushions, stove, etc) were provided by the dealer after the sale.

An interesting approach that I will have to consider. I could lay the hull and deck in a couple of days myself and a helper(twin brother I won t pay!). The cost saving in time by having a production yard roll them out so I can get the rigging and hardware mounted quickly may be not be much since I don’t plan to produce hundreds, but more for local fleets for clubs and maaayyybe Sailing schools(the boat is very responsive and quick to plane -not that great for noobs). The boat will be quickly built but with vacuum infused resin instead of my old school handlaid ‘glass approach to repair and restoration work. The molds will be simple and I just have to work out the cockpit depth and whether it will be a rolled coaming like a Melges 24 or enclosed seats for floatation like the Rhodes 19. The keel depth is 3 feet and the overall weight will be between 950-1000 pounds. 

As much as I like my Fareast28R and the 23 and the 21 to come, this boat will be much more traditional in appearance and will have a wonderful hollow bow entry that screams “classy boat here!” and a simple layout. It will keep up with the Fareast 21r and most sailors that have aged out of the hot local E scow fleet have been eyeing me up for a new design for older sailors based on what I have now. 

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19 hours ago, Monkey said:

Damn. 45K already seems reasonable. I suppose the whole Hawaii location limits the market pretty hard. 

Advertised here in Hawaii and on the mainland.  Crickets.  I kind of feel badly for the boat- it's like not being chosen for basketball in gym class.  

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1 hour ago, Hawaiidart said:

Advertised here in Hawaii and on the mainland.  Crickets.  I kind of feel badly for the boat- it's like not being chosen for basketball in gym class.  

If I had a $45k budget this would be top of my list.  Like a modern version of my Capri 25.  Good luck with the sale!

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On 8/13/2018 at 5:04 PM, Black Jack said:

Question then... when building a boat - how much is labor really verses other factors?

How can the Swedish Diva 24DC or the Bente 24 

 

BEN24_starboard_Du%CC%88sseldorf-Boat-Sh

ben24_sailing_leesails_1.webp

nice

156-benteboat-488.jpg

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On 8/13/2018 at 4:35 PM, guerdon said:

I love the Moore 24,  I am almost 70.  It is a boat that is like a Morgan car.  Regular boats are built by the pound.  If you want to live your dream, find out who shares it enough to set up a builders club.  In the sixties we couldn't afford kayaks so we rented molds payed a rental royalty to their creator and went for it.  Boat building  is for dreamers and it takes money to make it happen.  If you are alone in your dream, find the best current one, pay full price, and be glad for living your dream drama free.  If you can group a bunch of hippies with money,  pay  Moore, to splash some grotty hulls and and get building.  Good luck.

Good advice here.  

I grabbed the 505 molds from Ballenger back in early 2000s, they looked a lot like those molds. First bad sign was a waterline mark inside of the hull mold. We got two boats out of them and realized the molds were trashed after lots of buffing, mods, and repairs. 

If you can find enough people who want a boat ahead of time, it may just be worth it. I'd recommend finding a shop who is already established like White Cap Composities in Mass.  They seem to thrive on small runs of more historic boats. If you can guarantee 5-7 hulls, it may just be worthwhile.

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On 8/13/2018 at 5:07 PM, mad said:

How do you make a small fortune boat building? 

Simple, start with a big one. 

How do you make a million dollars in the sailing industry?

Start with two million and quit while you're ahead.

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14 hours ago, daddle said:

In 2001 there was a re-issue of the Santana 22 (yes, you read that right). I recall $40,000 (2001 dollars!). Sold around ten. Originals go for about $0 or the value of the sails. New molds were made from an original hull.

People who construct homebuilts get the hull finished quickly and think they are 80% done. The reality is they are about 10% done and the project is never finished.

Ahem. I finished mine. I know 5 other builders who started *and* finished.

The failure rate is only about 90%........

FKT

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1 hour ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Ahem. I finished mine. I know 5 other builders who started *and* finished.

The failure rate is only about 90%........

FKT

Admirable perseverance. So is it accurate that popping the hull and deck out of the molds is a minor part of the completed sailaway boat?

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4 hours ago, daddle said:

Admirable perseverance. So is it accurate that popping the hull and deck out of the molds is a minor part of the completed sailaway boat?

Yes !...by a large degree

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5 hours ago, daddle said:

Admirable perseverance. So is it accurate that popping the hull and deck out of the molds is a minor part of the completed sailaway boat?

I didn't build a f/g boat but yep, the hull is no more than about 15% of the build. It's the simple & fast part. The systems and internal fitout are time-consuming and expensive.

All of us say we could build another one in a lot less time but you have to pay your dues. That's why there are so many unfinished boats.

FKT

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As you all probably know, my wife bought me an Olson 40 and has paid for the total refit. Its not original, its more like a Wally: choose high performance, choose style, choose simplicity.

There is no question that this boat is costing MUCH less than a new 40 footer, or even a new 32 footer (equivalent interior). It will certainly depreciate less. And with the bulb keel, IMX38 rudder, simplified deck layout, J length sprit, high style interior fixtures, and of course everything new or as new, the reliability (or time sailing .vs. time fixing) at least as good as any new boat, its a nice boat to actually own.

I knew Frank Butler before he started Catalina Yachts (after he sold Coronado to Brunswick(?) and was waiting out the non-compete clause). He restored Cal 20s. He made some money, and he learned a lot. Catalinas certainly incorporate lessons from that era: everything can be access and fixed. This is because on Catalinas, the entire fiberglass structure is complete before anything at all is installed, so everything can be installed, repaired under warrantee, and repaired or replaced by the owner. These are important for being able to manage the building company, and to not lose money on sales, and to keep your customers happy so they buy new boats from you. Its worked for a very long time.

It is possible to make money for a long time in the marine industry. People do it. Not many, so you have to be better than most. But it does happen.

The reason we see almost no sailboats, and lots of powerboats is because of the sales cycle: it takes years to sell a sailboat, it takes hours to sell a powerboat. Sailboat buyers have all sorts of ideas about exactly what they want. Powerboat buyers say "I want that one!" Of course that is an over simplification, but that is exactly the truth behind the market.

 

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On 8/13/2018 at 9:44 AM, pulpit said:

Its nice to dream and as much as you would like to see a few new boats on the water and have a go at building them yourself. The hull mould looks like it needs a major detailing and I can see a week in washing and then sanding and buffing before you even start to think waxing the mould in order to get a shine in the mould otherwise you will end up sanding and detailing each boat for a week each before you get them to look any good. 

The bolded part was my first thought. My second was recalling a conversation with the guys a Precision Boatworks in which I learned that molds have a lifespan. You only get so many hulls out of a mold before it's time to just scrap it and make a new one. So once you've spent a week prepping those molds, how many hulls can they still make?

As noted, making the hull is the easy part. Making the mold ready to make a hull? Not so easy. Not as hard as turning a hull into a boat, but non-trivial.

On 8/15/2018 at 12:12 AM, WCB said:

If you can find enough people who want a boat ahead of time, it may just be worth it. I'd recommend finding a shop who is already established like White Cap Composities in Mass.  They seem to thrive on small runs of more historic boats. If you can guarantee 5-7 hulls, it may just be worthwhile.

That's the only way and that guarantee should include a contract with a deposit on each boat.

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Catalina is a great example of a boat company that followed a good plan and survived the economic roller coaster of the past 50 years. The entire boat interior can be disassembled with a Phillips head screwdriver and every part has a # on the back and can be readily replaced with in stock parts. They use the same stainless firm  so pulpits and stanchions are the same. The boats never changed style that much so people are familiar with the brand on first sight. 

I’ve read some negative things on the Catalina Owners web site about Frank concerning warranted work that I don’t think are justified. I have a ‘42  and it’s a very well built boat. 

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2 hours ago, carcrash said:

As you all probably know, my wife bought me an Olson 40 and has paid for the total refit. Its not original, its more like a Wally: choose high performance, choose style, choose simplicity.

There is no question that this boat is costing MUCH less than a new 40 footer, or even a new 32 footer (equivalent interior). It will certainly depreciate less. And with the bulb keel, IMX38 rudder, simplified deck layout, J length sprit, high style interior fixtures, and of course everything new or as new, the reliability (or time sailing .vs. time fixing) at least as good as any new boat, its a nice boat to actually own.

 

I'd love to see pictures of your boat.  Sounds very intriguing.

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My buddy had a Catalina 320 that he bought new. About 10 years down the road, in the 90's, it developed some blisters. He called Catalina, got a call back from Frank Butler, and Catalina paid for a complete peel and resurface, including new bottom paint. YMMV but they did right by him.

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3 hours ago, carcrash said:

As you all probably know, my wife bought me an Olson 40 and has paid for the total refit. Its not original, its more like a Wally: choose high performance, choose style, choose simplicity.

There is no question that this boat is costing MUCH less than a new 40 footer, or even a new 32 footer (equivalent interior). It will certainly depreciate less. And with the bulb keel, IMX38 rudder, simplified deck layout, J length sprit, high style interior fixtures, and of course everything new or as new, the reliability (or time sailing .vs. time fixing) at least as good as any new boat, its a nice boat to actually own.

I knew Frank Butler before he started Catalina Yachts (after he sold Coronado to Brunswick(?) and was waiting out the non-compete clause). He restored Cal 20s. He made some money, and he learned a lot. Catalinas certainly incorporate lessons from that era: everything can be access and fixed. This is because on Catalinas, the entire fiberglass structure is complete before anything at all is installed, so everything can be installed, repaired under warrantee, and repaired or replaced by the owner. These are important for being able to manage the building company, and to not lose money on sales, and to keep your customers happy so they buy new boats from you. Its worked for a very long time.

It is possible to make money for a long time in the marine industry. People do it. Not many, so you have to be better than most. But it does happen.

The reason we see almost no sailboats, and lots of powerboats is because of the sales cycle: it takes years to sell a sailboat, it takes hours to sell a powerboat. Sailboat buyers have all sorts of ideas about exactly what they want. Powerboat buyers say "I want that one!" Of course that is an over simplification, but that is exactly the truth behind the market.

 

Good points!  I only take issue with one... there is a very critical part that I cannon access on my Capri 25 without major surgery.  There's a block of wood that is rotted out under the compression post and under the floor liner.  Everything else I could access during my refit last year except that one critical piece of wood.   

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ron publicly stated a year or so ago he would entertain new orders for $60k if five were received. if he's asking sixty, you can bet a first time builder could barely touch that price.

not to mention, anything coming out of the mold would have a very hard time qualifying for the existing fleet without a ton of extra cost being thrown in for calcs, modern materials laminate schedule, certified testing and stiffness penalties

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3 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

I'd love to see pictures of your boat.  Sounds very intriguing.

Forget the boat, I want to see his WIFE.

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51 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Forget the boat, I want to see his WIFE.

If his wife bought the boat and paid for the refit, I want to see her bank balance.

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